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USS Nathan Hale (SSBN 623)

- decommissioned -

USS NATHAN HALE was the sixth LAFAYETTE - class nuclear powered fleet ballistic missile submarine. Deactivated while still in commission in May 1986, the NATHAN HALE was decommissioned on November 3, 1986, and stricken from the Navy list on January 31, 1986. She went through the Navy’s Nuclear Powered Ship and Submarine Recycling Program at Bremerton, Washington, from October 2, 1991 to April 5, 1994. On the latter date, the ship was classed as scrapped.

General Characteristics:Awarded: February 3, 1961
Keel laid: October 2, 1962
Launched: January 12, 1963
Commissioned: November 23, 1963
Decommissioned: November 3, 1986
Builder: Electric Boat Division of General Dynamics Corp., Groton, CT.
Propulsion system: one S5W nuclear reactor
Propellers: one
Length: 425 feet (129.6 meters)
Beam: 33 feet (10 meters)
Draft: 31.5 feet (9.6 meters)
Displacement: Surfaced: approx. 7,250 tons
Submerged: approx. 8,250 tons
Speed: Surfaced: 16 - 20 knots
Submerged: 22 - 25 knots
Armament: 16 vertical tubes for Polaris or Poseidon missiles, four 21" torpedo tubes for Mk-48 torpedoes, Mk-14/16 torpedoes, Mk-37 torpedoes and Mk-45 nuclear torpedoes
Crew: 13 Officers and 130 Enlisted (two crews)


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Crew List:

This section contains the names of sailors who served aboard USS NATHAN HALE. It is no official listing but contains the names of sailors who submitted their information.


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About the Ship's Name:

Nathan Hale, born in Coventry, Connecticut, 6 June 1755, graduated from Yale College in 1773. Two years later, as residents of the colonies pressed for the rights of Englishmen, Hale, a teacher, was appointed a lieutenant by the Connecticut General Assembly 1 July 1775. As the fight for English common rights turned into one for independence, he fought with the Continental Army in the siege of Boston and was later chosen as one of the captains of Knowlton’s Rangers. Volunteering as a spy for General Washington in the summer of 1776, he went to Long Island disguised as a Dutch school teacher. On 21 September, however, he was captured. The British Commander, General Sir William Howe, offered him a captaincy and ample purse if he would change allegiance. Hale refused and was sentenced to hang the following day.

His jailer, the infamous Provost Marshal William Cunningham, refusing him a Bible, chaplain, or paper for letters, tauntingly demanded some last words. Nathan Hale spoke prayerfully for American freedom, ending with the unforgettable expression; “I only regret that I have but one life to lose for my country.”


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